The kitchen “before”.
We are beginning the process of selling our house in Derbyshire. Our intention is to downsize in England and upsize in France, spending more time there. I try not to think too hard about the reality of selling two houses and buying two houses as the idea is just likely to send me into freefall but we have made a start.
This start involved making our house in England look like a show home for the photos that will appear on the agent’s website.
The kitchen “after”.
We are now functioning with about half of our cooking equipment, the other half being temporarily moved to the garage then ultimately to be deposited in my dad’s garage so that anyone wanting to view the house can see the size of the garage beyond the stuff that used to be in the kitchen.
Cooking has been limited and even more haphazard than usual during this initial process but we have managed to make a few things that we were pleased with (baked beans and scrambled egg don’t fall into this category, however much we love them) including this dish which is ideal for lunchtime (or a starter perhaps).
It’s adapted from the Hairy Bikers book “The Hairy Dieters” which my brother gave us for Christmas the other year. (He also gave us their second dieting book last Christmas - cheeky monkey.)
It’s basically smoked haddock baked in crème fraîche with spinach and eggs and it’s absolutely delicious.
We followed the recipe almost to the letter and for personal consumption I would do it again and again with no changes. If I was to serve it to guests I think I would follow the tip given by Rachel Khoo when making her croque madame muffins and pour out some of the egg white. It would simply make it look prettier and a tad more professional.
Instead of smoked haddock (we used the tail end of a piece we had the day before) I think it would be lovely made with smoked salmon, smoked ham or even a bit of fried bacon.
½ bag spinach leaves
75 - 100g approx smoked haddock, skinned and snipped into small chunks
75g crème fraîche
2 spring onions, washed, trimmed and sliced
2 eggs (preferably fridge cold)
Preheat the oven to 220° C / 200°fan / gas mk 7. Lightly grease two large ramekins and put them onto a baking tray.
Put the spinach into a pan with about a tablespoon of water and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Drain in a sieve or colander and remove as much water as possible by pressing with the back of a ladle or large spoon.
Put the spinach, fish, crème fraîche, cornflour and spring onions into a medium bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture between the ramekins, cover with oiled foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, slip off the foil and break an egg into each ramekin. Replace the foil and bake for a further 8 minutes, by which time the egg whites should be cooked but the yolks still runny.
Remove from the oven again but leave with the foil on for a further 2 minutes.
Serve hot with toast on the side. (And a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc if desired.)